Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's day.............

St. Patrick's day in the past:

Everything green! Green milk! Green eggs! Green cupcakes, green frosted shamrock cookies, green decorations all over the house! Coordinated green outfits. Big parties, homebrew, Scotch eggs, corned beef and cabbage, colcannon. Leprechaun traps! Gifts of gold (chocolate) from the leprechauns! 

St. Patrick's day today:

I finally dug into the bin of decorations (yesterday) that had been sitting in the hallway for two weeks. I pulled out four sad-looking metallic green streamer decorations and pinned them up above the table. Had to leave to meet my husband for dinner and that was the extent of my decorating because I never got back to it when we got home last night. Today, I just shoved everything back into the bin and accepted the fact that I totally failed at decorating this year. We had corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I tried to add potatoes but the ones in the bag were sprouted and wrinkly. Nope. The kids ran to McDonald's and got Shamrock shakes for dessert and they were gross. I did wear a green shirt, green jewelry that I made, a trio of cheap metal green bracelets and attached a glittery shamrock pin to my hair. 

Once upon a time, I decorated for EVERY holiday. My house looked like a Hallmark store display. But now even decorating for Christmas seems like such a chore and I'm often scattering things about at the last minute. When my kids were little, I always had a special meal or treat, bought them themed outfits appropriate for the holiday, planned special events, did crafts. 

Now everyone has their own car, and their own life, and I don't see them much. I guess without as many "kid" duties, I let things like decorating for holidays slide and I don't have the time or the energy to make a big deal out of every reason to celebrate. 

I wonder if they miss it? I know I do, and I often feel guilty (like today) for not making things special, because making things special is kind of my THING. But other times I feel like I knock myself out for nothing. And, truth be told, even the best-laid plans often get derailed by our "busy-ness". 

With so many holidays and six birthdays to celebrate every year, we have decorations up more often than not, it seems. Sometimes it's months before we take a Happy Birthday banner down. Or remove the balloons and streamers. But it's just so festive and fun! And taking it down is like........well, you know that feeling when the last Christmas decoration is packed away and you have that "Hells to the YES, that freaking job is done - clean slate - time to start the new year!" feeling but you also have that "Aww, I'm going to miss all the lights and warmth and festivity" feeling? It's like that. 

Part of me is thrilled and relieved to be at this stage of my life. No more tooth fairy duties - sneaking into the kids' room after they've gone to sleep (and I've waited up way too long, wanting to go to sleep myself) and trying to find a tiny tooth under a pillow in the dark. No more leprechaun traps (who invented that bullshit anyway?), or trying to pull of some leprechaun shenanigans that are somewhat believable to convince a skeptical grade-schooler that the little green guys are real. 

But I miss it, too! I miss having a reason to hang up paper hearts all over the house and make pumpkin pictures, and create a whole meal out of candy that looks surprisingly like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and peas and carrots but is really cocoa krispy treats, ice cream with caramel sauce and candies individually rolled and shaped to look like peas. April Fools!

When the kids were little, other moms would lament the mess of painting, Play-Doh and, popsicles. I relished it. I loved nothing more than dragging out the easel and paints and dressing my toddler in a beret for effect. My day was made when we created a giant slip and slide out of an old tarp, and, upon finding it not slippery enough, lathered each kid with a bar of Irish Spring soap. It smelled heavenly (and yes, we justified is as a bath, don't judge!). 

And I know the kids don't have to be little to decorate or do things up special. But there's something so sweet about the expectancy of a little face lighting up with excitement when they see their home transformed. Yeah, it's messy and inconvenient and requires a lot of storage bins, much to my husband's chagrin, but it's just so FUN!

So, why didn't I do it this year? Was I too busy? Unmotivated? Maybe a little of both. And maybe I only disappoint myself. Maybe no one else even cares. But I do. 

Guess I'll try harder next holiday. Except it's Easter and I have the fewest decorations for that holiday. In fact, I think last Easter I "forgot" to decorate until the last minute when I scattered some baskets and bunnies around. Better get on it. 

Plus, I forgot to wear my shamrock socks today and it totally threw off my day. Because, damn it, I have to wait a whole year to wear them again. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May your neighbors respect you
troubles neglect you
angels protect you
and Heaven accept you
~ Irish Blessing